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American Economic Journal: Applied Economics: Vol. 6 No. 1 (January 2014)

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Competitive Effects of Means-Tested School Vouchers

Article Citation

Figlio, David, and Cassandra M. D. Hart. 2014. "Competitive Effects of Means-Tested School Vouchers." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 6(1): 133-56.

DOI: 10.1257/app.6.1.133

Abstract

We use the introduction of a means-tested voucher program in Florida to examine whether increased competitive pressure on public schools affects students' test scores. We find greater score improvements in the wake of the program introduction for students attending schools that faced more competitive private school markets prior to the policy announcement, especially those that faced the greatest financial incentives to retain students. These effects suggest modest benefits for public school students from increased competition. The effects are consistent across several geocoded measures of competition and isolate competitive effects from changes in student composition or resource levels in public schools.

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Authors

Figlio, David (Northwestern U and CESifo, Munich)
Hart, Cassandra M. D. (U CA, Davis)

JEL Classifications

H75: State and Local Government: Health; Education; Welfare; Public Pensions
I21: Analysis of Education
I22: Educational Finance; Financial Aid
I28: Education: Government Policy

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